China is developing the first strategic bomber. It can also carry nuclear weapons

China is developing the first strategic bomber. It can also carry nuclear weapons
China is developing the first strategic bomber. It can also carry nuclear weapons

China is building its first strategic bomber, which is expected to carry both conventional and nuclear weapons. Additionally, the Xi’an H-20 is said to be designed with radar-absorbing technology. According to aviation website Simple Flying, China’s plans to build a bomber are in full swing, with the goal of improving the combat capabilities of the Chinese People’s Army Air Force. The bomber is still under development, but according to the Air Force, it will soon be revealed to the public.

The Xi’an H-20 is a subsonic stealth bomber designed for the Chinese Air Force by the Xi’an Aircraft Industrial Corporation of China. When completed, it will be the first strategic bomber developed by China. In early March, Deputy Commander of the Chinese Air Force Wang Wei indicated that the H-20 bomber would be revealed very soon. During the session of the 14th National People’s Congress, Wang announced positive signs of progress in the development of the bomber, the website writes.

The aircraft features modern exterior materials that enable the ability to absorb radars. While most design and performance details are unknown, the H-20 subsonic bomber will have an estimated operational range of 8,500 to 10,000 km. The aircraft is focused on bombing missions in the Second Island Chain and in the Western Pacific. Thanks to the possibility of refueling in flight, its range could be increased far beyond the Pacific region. The aircraft will also be able to carry conventional weapons and nuclear munitions in its internal and external compartments.

The development of the H-20 long-range strategic bomber was announced in 2016 by Chinese Air Force General Ma Xiaotian. In 2018, the Chinese military confirmed that development of the bomber was going well and that the program had made significant progress. In the same year, the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China unveiled a computer-generated video showing some elements of the design. In 2021, the Chinese Air Force released another video showing the design of the wing.

According to Brent Eastwood, a former journalist for The National Interest, the aircraft will bring uncertainty among the nuclear powers. “The bomber would help China change the nuclear balance with the United States. There is no current arms control agreement between it and the United States, and Beijing is always looking for a qualitative nuclear advantage over Washington,” Eastwood is quoted as saying by the website.

“The Xian H-20 could also bully China’s neighbors by reaching up to Japan and the Philippines, not to mention launching a surprise attack against Taiwan. It has an enviable range of around 5,281 miles, if reports are accurate, and could go as far as Hawaii – and even the West Coast of the United States – with aerial refueling. The H-20 could also have a weapons load of 45 tons,” Eastwood added.

Chinese Air Force Deputy Commander Wang Wei also believes the new stealth bomber will bridge the power and strategic gap between China and the United States. “We are not competing with the United States, we are only defending our own security. That will be revealed when the time comes,” he declared.

The article is in Czech

Tags: China developing strategic bomber carry nuclear weapons


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